Monday's Muse, 3rd edition

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Waves of Rush by Tabache.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

Freefall by Anne Levine

Abigail Jacobs is preparing for high school graduation and compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces. While her friend Shira is trying out for the entertainment troupe, Abigail has her sights set on the elite women's combat unit. Although she is discouraged by her family, she gains much-needed confidence and inner strength from Shira's older brother, Noah, a combat soldier himself. She survives a physically and mentally grueling boot camp and is inspired to help rescue stranded animals as bombs fall in northern Israel. When Noah is wounded and Aggie encounters him in the hospital, their relationship intensifies. Unlike Levine's Running on Eggs (Front St., 1999), this book is nearly devoid of politics, and the story could easily take place in any war-torn country where military service is a way of life for young people.

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley

Beckon the sea,

I'll come to thee....

Shed seven tears,

perchance seven years....

At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.

Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.

The Executioner's Daughter by Laura E. Williams

historical novel set in England in 1450. Gentle, sensitive Lily has the misfortune to be the daughter of the village executioner. The other children taunt and torment her and her only friends are the wounded forest animals that she nurses back to health. When her mother dies, Lily knows that it is her destiny to replace her as the executioner's assistant. Suddenly the ugliness from which she has been shielded all her life becomes all too real. She faces the difficult choice of remaining loyal to her loving but remote father or leaving to try to make a better life for herself. Ironies abound in the deceptively simple story. Lily's parents also earn a living by selling herbs and are expert healers. Her father is reviled by the citizens of the town, but they turn out in droves to watch him work. He is viewed by all as a brute, yet he must drink heavily in order to carry out his duties. Lily is a strong, insightful child, wise beyond her years yet still vulnerable. This well-written story is an excellent vehicle for demonstrating the harsh realities of life in the Middle Ages.

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun.

17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don't do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha has suspected--she can see when someone is going to die. Her premonitions show her the brutal horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and the faces of the soldiers who will die. And one of them is her brother Thomas.

Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death.

The Seven Towers by Patricia Wrede

They are seven players in a game of deadly magic— Eltiron, Prince of Sevarin; Crystalorn, Princess of Barinash; Ranlyn, the desert rider; Jermain, the outlaw; Vandaris, the soldier; Carachel, the Wizard-King; and Amberglas, the sorceress. Each of them has a secret, and each fights his or her part in the thrilling battle that has put seven kingdoms on the very edge of destruction. Filled with wit, swordplay, humor, and intrigue, this early novel is one of Patricia C. Wrede’s best.

A Matter of Profit by Hilari Bell

The Vivitare are warriors-at least, the men are. Women have little power. Ahvren, 18, is a decent fighter, but dreads the thought of heading off to conquer another planet, while his foster sister, Sabri, who would actually make a brilliant warrior, dreads the thought of marrying the emperor's heir, who is weak and abusive. Ahvren and his father make a wager. If Ahvren can figure out who is behind the plot to assassinate the emperor, he will have a year to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He will also, he thinks, be able to convince the emperor to stop the wedding. It doesn't seem that difficult-obviously members of the conquered T'Chin Confederation are behind the plot. But there is something strange about this group. All but one of its 40 planets simply surrendered to the Vivitare. They are cowards--or are they? And what is the real difference between an informagoth (one who sells information) and a bibliogoth (one who figures out what information is needed, where to get it, and how to organize it)? As Ahvren learns more about the various species who make up the T'Chin Confederation, he also learns more about himself and his own people.


Kirthi said...

Wow, all these books sound great. I need to read them

Shannon Messenger said...

Thanks Heather. I know I can count on you to do all the hard work and track down cool books for me to add to my TBR pile. They all sound good--but the second one especially!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Wow this is awesome and so many of those books look so cool, I especially like that you picked seven! Very nice, Heather!

Heather Zundel said...

Kirthi - I know. I was surprised at the haul this time.

Shannon - Oh you know me, always willing to help. :)

Frankie - I wish I could say I did that on purpose! That would have been really cool. But I think it is only six.

Juju at Tales of said...

I do hope you love Seven Tears :)

Heather Zundel said...

Juju - I read your review on your blog and that was actually my inspiration for the word. :)